Co-Founder and CEO, Citizen University; Executive Director, Citizenship and American Program at the Aspen Institute, Eric Liu, in conversation with national leaders across the political spectrum explores Better Arguments at the 2018 Aspen Ideas Festival


We don’t need fewer arguments in American civic life today, we need less stupid ones. That means we need arguments that are more emotionally intelligent and more deeply rooted in our history. It also means recognizing that America is an argument: between liberty and equality, strong national government and local control, color blindness and color-consciousness, pluribus and unum. Guided by the Aspen Institute’s Better Arguments project, you’ll explore the roots and contemporary manifestations of these fundamental tensions in American democracy, and try your own hand at arguing better.


  • Ramesh Ponnuru, Senior Editor, National Review; Senior Editor, Bloomberg View; Visiting Fellow, American Enterprise Institute
  • Eric Liu, Co-Founder and CEO, Citzen University; Executive Director, Citizenship & American Identity Program
  • Rob Reich, Professor of Political Science, Graduate School of Education, Stanford University; Director, Center for Ethics in Society, Stanford University
  • Deborah Tannen, Linguistics Professor, Georgetown University; Author, You’re the Only One I Can Tell
  • Michelle De La Isla, Mayor, City of Topeka, KS